Feed Me So I Can Feed You

Lukes Kitchen Maplewood NJ

Just like all our hardworking campers, at Maplewood Boot Camps we are continually striving to stay in top form.

To help us stay at the top of our game, we are asking for your feedback.


We want to hear from everyone – current campers, past campers, and those of you who have never attended camp but still receive our emails – to find out about your fitness needs and how we can better serve you.

It’s very short – just 10 questions – so it shouldn’t take you long to complete.


As an added bonus, we’ll pick two random winners from all who complete the survey to receive a $50 coupon for dinner out at a local restaurant in Maplewood or South Orange!

You must submit your feedback by midnight Friday 6/18/2010 to be eligible for the $50 coupon giveaway.

Thank you for your continued support and your time in letting us know your thoughts.

4 Steps to Safe Summer Picnics

Did you know that foodborne illnesses increase in the summer months? Read on to find out why and how you can prevent it from affecting you and your family.

The Unites States Department of Agriculture suggests that there may be two reasons why foodborne illness (also called food poisoning) increases in the warmer months. First, bacteria grow faster in warmer weather. Second, as people spend more time cooking outdoors, they often forgo the safety controls of an indoor kitchen such as thermostat-controlled cooking, refrigeration, and washing facilities.

Fortunately, in just four simple steps you can reduce your risk of getting a summer time foodborne illness.

Step 1: Wash your hands and cooking surfaces often. You can never do these things too much when it comes to handling food and cooking. If you’re eating away from home, find out if the site has potable water. If not, bring your own and pack disposable washcloths or moist towelettes and paper towels to clean your hands and cooking surfaces.

Step 2: Don’t cross-contaminate. Wrap raw meats securely before packing them in your cooler and avoid letting raw meat juices come in contact with ready-to-eat food. Thoroughly wash all plates, utensils, and cutting boards that come in contact with raw meat.

Step 3: Cook all foods to their proper temperatures. Heating food to their proper temperatures can kill harmful bacteria that contribute to foodborne illness. Use your meat thermometer to determine if your food is heated through. Beef, veal, lamb steaks, roasts, and chops should have an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. All cuts of pork should reach at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Ground beef, veal, and lamb should achieve an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and all poultry should reach a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 4: Refrigerate as soon as possible. Perishable items, such as lunch meat and potato or pasta salad, should be kept in an insulated cooler under several inches of ice. Keep your cooler in the coolest part of your car and leave your cooler in the shade whenever possible. Maintain a cool temperature in your cooler by replacing ice as soon as it begins to melt. Do not leave perishable foods out of the cooler for more than two hours. Try to pack drinks in a different cooler than perishable foods since you’ll probably open the drink cooler frequently, which lets in warm air that can raise the temperatures in some foods and make them unsafe.

Following these steps can help you keep your food fresh and prevent you from getting sick, but there is one more thing you should always remember: when in doubt, throw it out.

Cook Safely, Grill Master

Whether you’re an apprentice or the heralded and respected Grill Master of old, here are a few safety tips you should know.

  • Marinate foods in the refrigerator rather than the counter or outdoors.
  • Keep your grill away from brush, foliage, and trees that can easily catch fire.
  • Grill at least four feet away from any structure.
  • Keep a spray or squirt bottle full of water nearby to extinguish flare-ups from dripping fat.
  • Use utensils designed for grilling, which often have longer reaches and heat-safe handles.
  • Wear an apron to protect your clothing from grease spatters. An apron also adds another layer of protection against burns.
  • Use oven mitts with caution. The newer design of high-heat silicon mitts are a better option than cloth mitts, which are more likely to catch fire if a stray flame shoots up.
  • Make sure children and pets stay a safe distance away from a hot grill.
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Better Butt(ocks)- I admit I do have a very nice butt. Some say my career was built on it! – Jean Claude Van Damme

If your backside is in the front of your mind, here’s what you can do to build better buns.

A useful tool to cushion your tailbone when you find yourself sitting down for a long time, your buttocks can also be a source of concern if it doesn’t look just like you want. So what can you do to whip your buns into tip-top shape? First, you’ve got to eat right. After all, those sugary sweets often land right on your rump. Second, you’ve got to do the right exercises on a regular basis. And these are the right exercises.

Ball and Leg. With your hands on the floor and your stomach resting on an exercise ball, tighten your buttocks as you lift one leg slightly off the floor, with your leg staying straight. Return the foot to the ground and repeat with the other leg. For stronger buns, lift both legs at the same time.

Brazilian Bun Builder. Lie facedown on your favorite exercise ball, placing your palms on the ground. With your back flat, toes on the floor, and legs about three feet apart, squeeze your buttocks tight as you lift your legs as high as they can go. Hold for one second, bring your feet together, separate your legs, and return to your original position. Repeat.

Bridge. Lying on your back, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart from one another. Next, slowly and steadily lift your spine from the floor. While raising your spine, tighten your buttocks and hamstrings until your spine is in a diagonal line from your knees to your shoulder. Hold the position for a couple of seconds and slowly return to the original position. Repeat.

Kickback. Standing up, grab a chair for balance, with your legs perpendicular to the ground. Next, raise your left leg behind you in a slow and controlled manner. Repeat with the right leg for 10 repetitions. Get added benefit with ankle weights.

Leg Curls. Any exercise that strengthens and shapes the hamstrings will help do the same for your buns. When performing leg curls using an exercise machine, contract the hamstrings when you’re done with each repetition and do four sets of 10 or 15.

Lunges. With dumbbells in your hands and hands at your side, bring your right foot forward. Lower your body to the ground by bending your right knee, careful to keep your bent knee even with or behind your right foot. When your left knee nearly touches the floor, push yourself back to your starting position. Repeat 10-20 times and switch legs.

Pile Squats. With your toes pointed outward and your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a dumbbell between your legs. Push your buttocks back and lower your upper body until you’re in a sitting position. Hold for a couple seconds, careful to keep your back straight, and return to your original position. Repeat 5-10 times.

Step-Ups. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand in front of a stable step. Start by placing your right foot on the step, with your left foot remaining flat on the floor. Lift your left foot onto the step, using your right leg to do the lifting. Return to the floor, one foot at a time and repeat, putting your left foot up first. Repeat.

Walking. It’s one of the least romantic or sexy exercises possible, but walking is one of the easiest and most useful exercises when it comes to toning your tush. So get off your buns and help them get shapely by going for a walk.

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Working Out Outside

A handful of ways you can get a good workout in the great outdoors.

As the sun breaks over the horizon, and a gentle light falls over the landscape, you’re faced with another beautiful day. Suddenly, you’re hit with the same urge you had as a college student. You want to skip your workout and play all day. Why not skip your way to an energizing workout outside, along the very hills and valleys you’re admiring?

Read on to find out a few things to consider in order to get a great exercise using the terrain surrounding you.

Alternate Terrain

One of the biggest perks of working out outside is that doing so forces you to move on a lot of different types of terrain. This benefit is particularly strong if you’re going to go walking or running. During an outdoor run, you’ll be going from a sidewalk to grass to the street and then up and down staircases. This varied terrain mimics what you’ll experience during real life, making it easier to navigate your way from point A to point B with minimal difficulty.

If you happen to be near a beach, working out in the sand not only puts you on an alternate terrain, but offers a fabulous workout that cannot be replicated on any other surface. Of course, while on the sand and other outdoor terrain, exercising caution and proper technique will ensure you don’t wind up suffering injury.

Air Out There

In addition to a change in terrain, exercising outside allows you to breathe air that will bring different threats your way than may be found inside. As a result, you should be particularly attentive to any health issues that may indicate an allergy. In the event you begin sneezing or suffering headaches, a runny nose, itchy eyes, or allergic swelling, you may need a little help.

With a quick trip to an allergist, you can learn what you’re allergic to in your outdoor exercise environment and you can receive appropriate medication to help you battle against the allergies. However, if you feel your allergies are too strong to deal with or would prefer to not depend on a physician for your ability to work out outside, you may have to stick to your indoor routine.

Drink in the Sun (and Water)

One of the benefits of working out beyond the confines of a gymnasium is the ability to get some vitamin D and a great tan in the process. Unfortunately, the sun is also one of the dangers of taking your workout into the outdoors. The most obvious sun-related danger is the threat of sunburns. By wearing sunscreen and sunglasses and reapplying if you’re outside for longer than an hour or so,

Also, since you’ll be sweating more when you’re outside, keeping hydrated is more difficult and important. Before beginning your outdoor workout, be sure to drink plenty of water. You should also keep a bottle of water on hand to drink from on a regular basis. With proper hydration and a good outdoor workout, you can have the skin color and muscle definition you want, all while breathing that fresh outdoor air.

How to Get It Done

Exercising outside is more than walking, running, or lifting weights at muscle beach. There are actually quite a lot of ways you can get some exercise without driving to the gym, including the following:

  • riding a bicycle
  • playing tag with your children
  • trail running
  • playing on an outdoor soccer team
  • walking on a trail that includes exercise stations and using the stations
  • gardening
  • rock climbing
  • backpacking
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Local Innovator Wins $50,000 from the ‘I am Free Enterprise’ Video Contest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 7, 2010  Contact: Bryan Goettel 202-463-5682

Navy Veteran and Brooklyn Native Aims to Help Americans Become Healthier

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Campaign for Free Enterprise announced today that Maplewood, NJ, innovator Carlos Sanchez has been selected to receive the top prize of $50,000 for his winning submission, I am Carlos Sanchez and I am Free Enterprise, to the “I am Free Enterprise” video contest. Growing up in Brooklyn surrounded by drugs, gangs, and violence, Sanchez cited free enterprise as his ticket to a better life. The Navy veteran and member of the American Council on Exercise used his video submission to describe his motivation to start a fitness boot camp and blog to encourage his community to adopt healthy lifestyles.

“This is incredible news,” said Sanchez. “I have overcome a lot of challenges in my life. For years, my hope was to take the lessons I’ve learned from my experiences and apply them to communities around the country through fitness training. It’s important to me that people become more active, and thanks to the U.S. Chamber’s Campaign for Free Enterprise, they will!”

Sanchez is one of three winners selected who will be awarded a total of $100,000 in cash prizes by the U.S. Chamber. The other two winners were:

  • Tracy Foster (Bowie, MD), who won the runner-up prize of $30,000. Foster built a business making hand bags designed for camera equipment that are both fashionable and functional—a line inspired by a recent trip she and her husband took abroad. She says she designed her camera bags for people who love photography and want a bag that compliments their style. Foster says the prize money will allow her to ramp up production of a new style of camera bag. You can view her video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmTJ3lvvF-w
  • Meredith Bragg (Alexandria, VA), who won the third-place prize of $20,000 for his profile piece on three successful local entrepreneurs in Virginia and the role that consumers play in the free enterprise system. Bragg portrays the business owners in his video as models for a successful small business. You can view his video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OehpD3E_Bcg

“The contest has inspired exciting storytelling about the value of free enterprise, and the caliber of creative ideas has far exceeded our expectations,” said Stan Anderson, managing director of the U.S. Chamber’s Campaign for Free Enterprise. “We’ve seen clearly how important entrepreneurship is to so many across this country. We congratulate the winners of this contest and thank everyone who submitted entries. You all embody the free enterprise spirit in America.”

More than 130 videos were submitted during the first round of competition, and the top viewed videos moved on to round two for consideration by a Blue Ribbon Panel of judges. Five finalists were then featured on the Campaign’s website—www.FreeEnterprise.com/video—and the public had approximately one month to vote for which videos they believed best brought to life the story of free enterprise. The five videos were viewed more than 95,000 times and received more than 9,500 votes. In advance of today’s announcement, a third-party auditing firm reviewed and approved the final determination.

Winners will be honored at events in their community throughout the month of June. A formal awards ceremony will take place in Washington, D.C., during the U.S. Chamber’s inaugural Jobs Summit in July.

American Free Enterprise. Dream Big. is the U.S. Chamber of Commerces comprehensive, multiyear campaign to support free enterprise through national advertising; grassroots advocacy; citizen, community, and youth engagement; and research and ideas leadership.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

Put Exercise on Your Calendar

It may be the most important event of your week.

Go here! Go there! Don’t slow down! Don’t stop! Help him! Help her!

For many, looking at a desk or wall calendar or day planner is distressing and depressing. Filled with meetings and events, the calendar can be a sign of a busy but unfulfilled life. It can also signal an unhealthy routine – especially if there is no time carved out for exercise. Putting a little exercise on your calendar may be no easy task, but the benefits are well worth the effort.

Not Easy, but Possible…

Wondering how to cram exercise in your overflowing schedule? First, grab your calendar and sit down. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. If it’s been a while since you’ve done that, do it again. Feels good, doesn’t it?

Now that you’re in your right mind, turn your calendar to the upcoming month. Hopefully there are some empty spots a few days each week. Write “exercise” on these, and add some details. Write down what time you’re going to exercise. You may want to even write down where you plan to exercise and what you plan to do. Are you going to lift weights in your garage? Play racquetball at the gym? Walk around the neighborhood? Depending on your plans, you may need a partner, and planning ahead will make it easier to find someone to accompany you.

Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness. – Edward Stanley

If there are no empty slots on your calendar, fitting in exercise will seem impossible, but keep your chin up. Take another deep breath and cross something off your calendar. Choose wisely, marking off an optional obligation only. Then cross something else off. In both their places, write “exercise.” Finally, call anyone who may be affected by your decisions and you will need to reschedule.

You can make these phone calls before rearranging your schedule, but be careful. If you’re a pushover, you may feel guilty rescheduling or canceling and you may never mark anything off your calendar. To make it a little easier, ask the people you’re rescheduling to join you while you exercise.

…And Necessary

Making the decision to add exercise to your life isn’t as easy as it should be. But it is important. Vitally important. And while you may think exercise is only for people who want to look good, you’re wrong. Regular exercise helps you feel better inside and out. But that’s not it! Exercise is the best preventive medicine available, helping every part of your body work more effectively and efficiently.

On top of all these great perks, hitting the gym on a regular basis will help when it’s time to look at your calendar. Remember how stressful it is to think about putting one more thing in your day? With an exercise regimen firmly in place, you’ll be more relaxed and less likely to feel overwhelmed by the tasks at hand. You’ll even perform each individual task with gusto and more attention to detail than would be possible without including exercise in your day planner. So before you count exercise out of your life, give it a second thought. There’s probably a little room on your calendar for it after all.

Finding the Time

Okay, so your calendar really is full for the next six months and there isn’t a single company meeting, conference call, or work trip you can back out of in the name of exercise. That doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze exercise in. The following are a few ways to get exercise in your day – even if there’s not time:

  • Wake up early – Most gyms are open in the wee hours of the morning for early bird workouts
  • Stay up late – Find out how late your gym stays open and whether the classes you’d like to take are offered at night
  • Eat on the job – Run to the gym during lunch for a quick workout and eat while performing work duties by yourself
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Losing the Pregnancy Pounds

Don’t think it can be done? You’re about to be very surprised.

When you walk into the labor and delivery room, your belly is bulging. If the baby stays inside you one more day, you fear your stomach will simply explode. And when the contractions are over and your new little one has arrived, you look down and realize a shocking fact: your baby didn’t take all the extra weight from your body.

Want to shave off 40 weeks of weight gain? Read on to get a few tried-and-true methods to get you back on the road to light.

Breastfeed. You may plan to have your baby feed on a bottle when you go back to work, but if you really want to see pounds fall by the wayside, nothing works as well as breastfeeding. Okay – so the jury is still out about whether breastfeeding will really get rid of those pregnancy pounds, but it’s definitely worth a try. Even if it doesn’t work, it won’t cause you to gain weight, and you’ll boost your newborn’s immunity and reduce your likelihood for breast cancer in the future in the process.

Eat. Before you got pregnant, you had to watch what you ate to maintain a healthy weight. Now that you’ve had baby, the same watchfulness is needed to lose pregnancy weight. If you’re breastfeeding your baby, do not cut back on your calorie intake. Regardless of whether you’re breastfeeding or using the bottle, don’t eat high-calorie or high-fat foods. Rather, go for anything stuffed with lots of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

Sleep. Though sleeping doesn’t sound like something that is going to help you shed pounds, not getting good sleep is a sure way to hang onto pregnancy pounds. According to research, insufficient sleep increases stress levels, which can in turn increase your weight. On top of the stress-induced weight gain, feeling sleepy also makes you less likely to feel like exercising – a major way you can help your body fend off the weight that doesn’t look quite as cute now that it isn’t accompanied by a pregnant belly.

Exercise. Though you don’t want to jump headfirst into an intense workout regiment immediately after giving birth, you should begin implementing exercise into your daily routine as soon as possible. During the first few days after giving birth, go for a short walk. If it hurts of you get tired, stop and take a rest. Giving birth is a traumatic event on your body, and it can take a while to recover. Allow your body to recover in its own time, but don’t stop trying to help it along.

Exercise Some More. Even if you breastfeed, eat right, get nine hours of sleep each night, and take a walk around the block each day, you may still a few pounds that cling on for dear life. If this happens to you, you will need to increase the amount and intensity of your exercises. For fun ways to exercise, check into “Mommy and Me” exercise classes that allow you to spend time with your child and get fit at the same time. You may also want to make your way back into the gym as soon as possible for some weight training. To make sure your routine isn’t putting you at risk, talk with your physician before beginning anything strenuous.

It Takes Time, Baby!

Though you may want to shed those pregnancy pounds the day after delivering your new bundle, you’re going to have to wait. You may even have to wait until next summer to wear that adorable new swimsuit you picked up with intentions of showing off your sleek abs weeks after giving birth.

In most cases, it only takes a couple of months to work off the pounds that baby brought on. However, research has shown that if you don’t lose the extra weight within six months, you may be stuck with it for the rest of your life. With that in mind, it becomes a little bit easier to get off the couch and hit the gym between breastfeeding sessions.

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